Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How I Beat a Cold in Three Days

Three nights ago, I was having a normal Sunday evening dancing at my favorite club. Except for the afternoon nap I took, the tickle in my throat, and being completely motionless when I sat down, nothing was unusual. Maybe those should have been clues that within a few hours, I would go home early (!) and consider having my doctor check for strep throat the next day--my throat was that sore.

Once I got home, I took all the vitamin D3 I had and went to bed. I’d read of colds being stopped by large doses of the sunshine vitamin, but the next morning, I felt velcroed to the bed. I still had a sore throat. I called my employer and croaked that I wouldn't be at work. Being a cheapskate, I decided to try to get well on my own before seeing a doctor.

It’s Wednesday night, and I’m well again. Tuesday wasn’t bad, either--I did a boatload of work since I took Monday off. I had very little nasal congestion during this cold.

My strategies:

  • Vitamin D3 in 10,000 IU doses, two per day for two and a half days. I took two 5,000 IU doses today. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so take the oil form or eat something fatty with it.
  • Umcka Cold Care chewable tablets, three to five doses per day. It clears congestion without drying you out. Today I gave a tablet to a coworker who said she’d had a cold for a week, and within an hour, she said she was able to breathe again. It’s non-drowsy, too.
  • Carmex. I apply this just inside my nose; I think the menthol helps break up congestion. It’s not indicated for this use, so use your own judgment.
  • Ibuprofin. Three doses on Monday for my headache.
  • Chicken soup. Actually, homemade egg drop soup with garlic. Free range chicken broth, eggs, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, instructions from the book 500 Low-Carb Recipes and a few minutes over the stove were all it took to make the best chicken soup I’ve ever had.
  • No noodles! I find wheat very congesting. In fact, I was more congested last week on the day after I ate a few little cookies than I was during this cold.
  • Rest. Both Sunday and Monday, I went to bed when I was tired. Unless you absolutely have to keep going, there’s nothing stoic about trudging on when you’re tired and ill.
  • Nourishment. I had my usual protein shake and battery of vitamins for breakfast. Hungry or not, resting or not, your body needs nourishment to fight illness.

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